All production processes generate waste in some form. The production processes at distilleries generate large amounts of wastewater containing a high concentration of organic waste, which – when left untreated in open lagoons – leads to potent greenhouse gases like methane being released into the atmosphere.
Because of the climate impact of these emissions from organic waste, it is vital to ensure the treatment of as much waste as possible, to minimise the potential for output of harmful greenhouse gases when the waste decomposes.
One way to do this is to use methane digesters, which harness the power of microbes to transform organic waste into biogas (an energy source) and digestate (a nutrient-rich fertiliser).
This innovative project mitigates greenhouse gas emissions caused by the decomposition of wastewater from the Thai San Miguel Liquor (TSML) distillery in Bangkok, by capturing biogas from wastewater and converting it to electricity in newly-installed engines.
The process uses methane digesters – by installing a digester between the exiting sump pit and the lagoons, the wastewater is treated, with the subsequent captured methane used as biogas for electricity production.
Previously, wastewater with a high organic matter content was treated in an anaerobic lagoon which during the organic decomposition, led to the escape of methane into the atmosphere. The project reduces greenhouse gas emissions by capturing the biogas before it enters the atmosphere and converting it into electricity. The electricity is then used to replace the fossil fuel energy which powers the TSML boilers, and is also exported to the Thai national grid. Estimated emissions reductions from this project around over 87,000 tonnes per year.
As well as providing jobs and training directly linked to the project activity, the project owner also engages in a wide range of social initiatives and educational programmes, including funeral care and sponsoring gifts for the Ton Lum Yai temple during Loy Kratong Festival.
This project is verified by the Gold Standard. You can view it on the Gold Standard registry here.
UN's Sustainable Development Goals
Projects like these are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Here are the goals recognised by the Papop Biogas and Renewable Energy project:
- Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
- Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
You can find out more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals here.